I bought a plant a few weeks ago and I don't know its name. I'm not quite sure how to take care of it. Can you help me out?
This plant is an Areca palm, (Dypsis lutescens) which is native to Madagascar but naturalized across the world. When grown outside in Florida they can reach heights of 20' (~6 M). Indoors they are seen in a range from 3' to 6' (~1 to 2 M).
When grown indoors bright filtered light is the best filtered environment. Water thoroughly when the top inch of the soil is dry.
This plant can be attacked by spider mites, mealy bug and thrip. The most common pest, spider mite, tends to occur when the plant is placed in low light for extended periods or bright hot dry conditions.
- Soap and water applied at a rate of teaspoon/quart (~5ml/liter) three times over six day periods will control spider mite.
- With mealybug and thrip I just got rid of the plants as these pests were very hard to bring under control and spread easily.
- Fertilize after a few years with 20-20-20 at half the recommended strength.
- Top up the soil yearly with a soil less mix
- Remove the fruiting bodies as they attract pests.